Hi, I'm Jaden, a professional recipe developer, food columnist and food photographer specializing in fast, fresh and easy recipes for the home cook. Most of my recipes are modern Asian! About meFast, fresh & easy recipes for the home cook.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Update 12/8/09 I’m thrilled to share that I’m a featured blogger for Oprah’s Holiday 2009 where this recipe is being featured!
While I love to make my own pizza or flatbread dough from scratch, sometimes I just don’t feel like getting my hands all messy with dough. I cheat a lot and buy packaged flatbreads from the supermarket and throw them on the grill or under the broiler for a quick pizza. One of my favorite fall recipes is Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbreads, briefly grilled on our barbeque grill.
The creamy gorgonzola with specks of blue-black cheese melts, the warmed slices of Granny Smith Apples and wedges of juicy figs cradle the shaved slices of Parmegiano-Reggiano. But we’re not done with it yet, sweet, sensual honey drapes each slice, some oozing over the edge, onto your fingers.
If you’re interested in food photography…I’m showing you photos before I used Photoshop, so that you can see before and after. I shoot in RAW with my Canon 40D and I used the 60mm macro lens to get nice, sharp closeups. I generally use Photoshop to sharpen, lighten the photo and increase the saturation just a bit to make the colors and detail really pop. I know many of you don’t have Photoshop (it’s expensive) but you can do the same in Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 ($99); and even in Flickr they have free online tools to help you lighten and increase saturation of your photos. I know Adobe has a free online editing tool…but can’t find it at the moment…if you find, will you please let me know?
I always try to fiddle with the photo and camera settings to take the perfect shot, which minimizes my use of software to touch up. But sometimes, the lighting is not just right or my white balance is a bit off and I’ll need to adjust. There’s nothing wrong with doing that, every single professional photographer does some sort of touch up, and it’s generally sharpening and color correction.
Here’s my before and after:
I’d love to show you what I do in Photoshop (it does make a big difference in the picture, but since so few of you have this software, I’ll have wait until I buy a copy of Photoshop Elements so that the tutorial is more relevant to more people.
In the meantime, here’s my step-by-step slideshow of how I got to my money-shot!
Oh yes, please enjoy the recipe for Warm Fig, Apple and Gorgonzola Flatbread
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 8-inch round flatbreads
4 ounces crumbled gorgonzola cheese
1 apple, cored and sliced very thinly
8 ripe figs, cut into 6 wedges each
2 ounces parmesan cheese (Parmegiano-Reggiano), shaved with vegetable peeler
2 tablespoons honey
Preheat your grill, half direct heat. Brush olive oil on top of each flatbread, especially the edges. Assemble flatbreads with gorgonzola, apples and figs.
Grill flatbreads over direct heat for 3 minutes, until the bottoms are toasted and browned. Then move to indirect heat and close cover for 3 minutes to finish melting the cheese and warming the fruit.
If broiling, set your rack to upper 1/3 position. Grill flatbreads without the toppings for 2 minutes to just get them nice and toasty. Then layer on the olive oil, gorgonzola, apples and figs and return to oven for 4 to 6 minutes until cheese has melted and fruit is warmed through.
Sprinkle shaved Parmegiano-Reggiano and drizzle honey on top.
Serves 4 to 6 as appetizer or dessert.
Please don’t forget to enter in the free drawing for Artisan Steak Tasting Package!! If you haven’t read it, this is one of the most interesting things I’ve ever done – tasted 6 different steaks from small ranchers and included tasting notes, breed, diet, region etc. The tasting kit includes 4 different artisan steaks so you can do your own tasting.